Although my primary passions are painting and teaching, I have degrees in poetry and social work as well. In 2005 all of these interests came together in a collaborative effort with Ric Campman, founder of the River Gallery School, when we created an outreach program with Kindle Farm students. These young men, who sometimes have difficulty succeeding in traditional classrooms, responded enthusiastically to the individualized approach of the school. Many of the works they created appeared in exhibitions that were very well received by the public.
This outreach program has continued to grow. I teach two weekly classes, open to the public, at the Brattleboro Senior Center as well as other workshops at the Gathering Place, Thompson House, Menspace and the AIDS Project. When funding permits, I also offer community workshops that bring together artists with many different skill levels who have discovered the pleasure of experiencing art making in a setting that encourages fearless expression and visual exploration.
My own journey as a painter is intricately involved with the way in which I teach. The joyous process of learning to “see” is enriched by conversations with students who are on a similar path of discovery. When I decide to change the palette of colors I use, for example, and share this information with others, I find their enthusiasm for a new approach adds depth to my own understanding of painting.